What is Pneuma, Ousia, and Arkhe in Genshin Impact?

Opposing forces.
Genshin Impact Fragment Of Ancient Chord Echoes Of Deep Tide 4
Image by HoYoverse

Genshin Impact is an ever-evolving game, and with the introduction of Fontaine, HoYoverse has expanded on Genshin Impact’s diverse combat system even further. This is through the brand new “Arkhe” system, a special form of energy exclusive to characters hailing from Fontaine. The Arkhe system takes the form of different flowers of energy, Pneuma, and Ousia. If you look closely at your Fontaine characters, such as the Hydro Traveler, you might notice they can utilize “Pneuma” and “Ousia” within their attacks. But what are Pneuma, Ousia, and the Arkhe system in Genshin Impact exactly?

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What are Pneuma and Ousia in Genshin Impact?

Pneuma and Ousia are described as “the properties found in the life forms, earth, air, and water veins of Fontaine.” It is the “collision between energies of different properties [that] causes annihilation and the production of greater energies.” However, what’s more important in the case of Genshin Impact is how Pneuma and Ousia attacks interact with certain enemies in the game. When fighting the new “Mek” enemies in Genshin Impact, you might notice using Pneuma or Ousia attacks can disable these enemies, giving you the upper hand in battle.

Genshin Impact Arkhe System

Screenshot by PC Invasion

When fighting a Mek enemy, you need to pay close attention to which Arkhe alignment they have. If you are fighting a Mek with a purple glow, these enemies are Ousia-aligned. If you are fighting a Mek with a yellow glow, you are fighting an enemy that’s Pneuma-aligned. To gain the upper hand in battle against these enemies, you have to use an attack with the opposite Arkhe energy to Overload them, decreasing their energy. For example, if you are fighting an Ousia-aligned enemy, hitting them with a Pneuma attack will Overload them, and vice versa.

Genshin Impact Arkhe System 2

Screenshot by PC Invasion

It is possible to utilize the power of the Arkhe system without having a character with these capabilities. While exploring Fontaine, you might come across objects known as Pneumousia Blocks. When interacting with these objects, your next attack will be imbued with the power of a Pneuma or Ousia attack. (Interacting with a purple Pneumousia Block will result in an Ousia-imbued attack, and vice versa.)

Genshin Impact Arkhe System 3

Screenshot by PC Invasion

Occasionally, you will encounter different Pneuma and Ousia-related puzzles while exploring Fontaine. Generally, the rule of thumb with these puzzles is to simply hit the puzzle with an Arkhe attack corresponding to the opposite element. (For example, if you come across a yellow Pneuma relay, hit it with an Ousia attack.)

Which characters in Genshin Impact have Pneuma and Ousia attacks?

As Fontaine is currently brand new, there aren’t many characters in the game who have Arkhe attacks. So far, these are your only options:

  • Hydro Traveler: Pneuma
  • Lyney: Pneuma
  • Lynette: Ousia

To better explore Fontaine, consider building these characters so you can easily defeat Mek enemies and solve Pneuma and Ousia-related puzzles. Download Genshin Impact on its official website here.

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Author
Joshua Chu
Joshua Chu is a Contributing Writer for PC Invasion since June 2021. His undying love for live-service games like Overwatch 2, Valorant, and Honkai: Star Rail (amongst other soul-rending games) has led him to spend hours and hours on his PC. After earning his Print Journalism degree at Pennsylvania State University, he proceeded to freelance for a variety of sites, with other bylines including Gamepur and Kotaku. He is probably sad he demoted in rank in Overwatch.